The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir’d before;
The winds were wither’d in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish’d; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them—She was the Universe.
High atop the individual scales of strange lies the perfect combination of all individual elements, whirling together haphazardly.
In December of 2012, Ohio-born artist Katelyn Renner was given the opportunity to use her thesis show as a means to express herself at the end of her undergraduate career as a painting major. An entire gallery space, airy and open for the taking, proved daunting and induced more stress than anticipated. The same-old wasn’t cutting it, the canvas proved unfulfilling.
Renner, like any true Midwesterner, knew what to do. When in doubt, destroy something beautiful.
“The Void” came out as a the last-minute inner-workings of her intricate brain: a chance to embody corruption and share it with the curious and the brave. Taking a torch to random collected plastic toys and play things made for children, Renner melded together individual pieces into hunks of dark mass.
A middle finger proclaimation to consumerism and daft ignorance, and the result was alarmingly weird and beautiful. Mixed media based sculptures, each one more different and remarkable than the last. Effigies for the grim truth that is our unpromised future.
The thesis show itself was lit beautifully, with each piece strategically placed. On the wall, roses charred in the same fashion as the toys were displayed by the Renner’s name and a quote from Lord Byron’s (see above).
Pieces of”The Void” was also featured in another Ohio University show, a collaboration of peers and artists entitled Metaphysics of Making. Freaky stuff. We dig it. If you’re less about pictures and more about video, give a peep to this video. Renner takes the time to explain her process and mindset in creating this solo exhibition.